5 Trademarks of a Molly Brandt Show

Photo by Smouse

Molly Brandt celebrated the release of her debut album, Surrender to the Night, at the Turf Club among traveling family, former band members, and devoted line dancers.

Supported by Becky Kapell and Pit Stop, Molly booked the lineup matching her influences, from old school country to Americana pioneers. A keen lineup that flowed seamlessly throughout the evening.

Although Molly is a relatively new face to the blossoming country scene in the Twin Cities, there are 5 trademarks you can rely on when attending this emerging artist.

Photo by Smouse


This is any easy trademark as most shows you’ll notice the rhinestones affixed to the clothes and face of the band.

It’s a clever tie into the song titled “Rhinestone Teardrops” and with a 7 piece band of local gems, sounded spot on from the album. Her album cover carries that image and last night speckled through the audience were tiny sparkling rhinestones as an homage to Molly.

The history of rhinestones in country music is well documented with Nudie Cohn. Rhinestones are a rite of passage and that magical ‘nudie’ suit is a pinnacle outfit option for any country artist.

The symbolism of the gems depicted as tears weaves into the lyrics of her song of a lifetime of glam and feeling empty at the end of it.

Photo by Smouse


Before the show started, lessons for the “tush push” line dance where shared. “Union Man” called forth a bevy of people and the floor opened up for a mob of line dancers.

With the growing country music scene in the Twin Cities, the growth of line dancing follows. Having witnessed various Molly Brandt shows, there seems to be a committed following that always straps on their boots to dance.

Last night was no exception as scattered throughout the venue, there was two-stepping, line dancing, and clusters of dance. It’s not a coincidence that Molly attracts this, as her song “Eagles 34” talks about two-stepping in the setting of the Minneapolis venue.

Photo by Smouse

Talented Support

Not every Molly Brandt show will have a stage of six other artists around her, but every show will include a high-level musicianship supporting her.

From the very beginning, Molly has expertly identified a strong cast of support musicians, from Abbey Janii (Goatroper) on keys and backup vocals, to Eric Carranza and Christian Wheeler (Ty Pow + the Holy North) on guitar, to legend Joe Savage joining them on pedal steel.

Photo by Smouse

Last night was an added bonus as former band member Jordan Stammers all the way from Missouri, joined for two songs. Her presence during the closing song “Propane & Cigarettes” added another layer of buildup that left the audience ignited for more.

Photo by Smouse

Country Nostalgia

Every time I catch Molly Brandt, there’s a new tinge of another country artist that can be held baked into her sound. From Deana Carter in “Bluff Country Paradise” to Tanya Tucker in “Surrender to the Night”, to even the iconic Reba in “Old Northern Woman.” These subconscious influences make for a warm feeling of acquaintance with the music. 

Molly Brandt’s immediate success has been finding a way to bridge these older artists to the new sound. Her album is a variety of these jewels done in such a way to honor and build on what’s come before you. Surrender to the Night will be that foundational starting place for Molly to shine bright on larger and larger stages in her music.

Photo by Smouse


As a well documented mojo alum, Molly Brandt has swagger. The clothing that finds her is a big part of that attitude, but what you see outside permeates deeper.

Molly’s demeanor on stage is typically calm, cool and collected, while her voice can emotionally sway an audience. “My Mind” was a perfect example of that last night, culminating with a burst of singalong at the end. Hometown song “Minneapolis” was a snow covered blanket of moody sadness.

The mojo of Molly sets her apart as a performer in that she holds a natural charisma on stage. With more and more shows in her future, that air will continue to find new fans to connect to.

Photo by Smouse

Written by Smouse

Having spent 13 years recording and producing Minnesota artists, along with running a small record label, Smouse is a passionate advocate of musicians and artists in Minnesota.


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